Medicaid Expansion Passes NH House

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Medicaid Expansion supporters gathered at the New Hampshire State House ahead of Thursday’s vote. Courtesy Photo/New Futures

CONCORD, NH – The House vote May 3 to continue Medicaid expansion, SB 313 for another five years. It provides health insurance to an additional 50,000 low-income New Hampshire residents. It was supported by AARP, Business and Industry Association, NH Hospital Association, and NH Medical Society. It was passed on a voice vote with little discussion.

A Finance Committee amendment to the bill was adopted by a vote of 303-29.

Governor Chris Sununu issued the following statement following the bill’s passage, which he says also reforms New Hampshire’s Medicaid and Premium Assistance Program, establishing the Granite Workforce pilot program, and relative to certain liquor funds, on a strong bipartisan vote:

“We have worked tirelessly over the past several months with our federal partners in Washington to demand increased innovation and flexibility in how our state runs Medicaid program. The Granite Advantage Health Care Program is a New Hampshire plan that protects taxpayers and the General Fund, saves the federal taxpayers approximately $200 million, provides 50,000 Granite Staters with healthcare, stabilizes our individual market, and includes a robust work requirement that will lift individuals out of poverty and provide them with workforce skills. I applaud the legislature for overwhelmingly passing this fiscally responsible plan today, and I look forward to signing this legislation into law.”

Also weighing in, the NH Coalition of Health Care Advocates and Business Leaders, which released the following statements:

“Thank you to our House lawmakers for their vote and understanding of the importance of Medicaid Expansion,” said Michele Merritt, president and CEO of New Futures. “The reauthorization of this program means that 52,000 Granite Staters will continue to have access to health care, we will continue to have necessary access to critical substance use treatment and millions of dollars of federal funds will continue to be brought into the NH economy. We look forward to Governor Sununu signing SB 313 into law.”

“Each year, one in five NH adults and children experience a mental health disorder.  This vote ensures continued access to health care, including mental health services and substance abuse treatment, for more than 50,000 Granite Staters,” said Ken Norton, Executive Director of NAMI New Hampshire.  “NAMI New Hampshire is thankful for the NH Legislature’s bipartisan leadership on this bill, and for Governor Sununu’s support throughout the legislative process.”

“Medicaid Expansion is the single most important program we have to keep New Hampshire healthy,” said Joan Ascheim, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Public Health Association. “After today’s vote, it is obvious that New Hampshire’s representatives had public health in mind when insuring that more than 50,000 Granite Staters have continued access to health care.”

“We are thrilled that both Republicans and Democrats in the NH Legislature have voted to continue Medicaid expansion, as it impacts the health of our friends, neighbors, and economy. It takes action against the opioid epidemic by covering behavioral health and SUD services, and saves lives of our loved ones and fellow Granite Staters,” said Tess Stack Kuenning, president and CEO of Bi-State. “The continuation of Medicaid expansion is indeed a victory for the Granite State.”

“Medicaid Expansion is a critical program to the 52,000 Granite Staters that rely on it to access care, including the thousands of low income women, men, and young people that Planned Parenthood serves with compassionate and quality care. Access to contraception, well-person exams, and cancer screenings are indispensable in keeping New Hampshire healthy and lowering medical costs in the long run, and Medicaid Expansion helps ensure that these essential services will continue to be available,” said Sabrina Dunlap, VP for Public Policy, Planned Parenthood NH Action Fund.